Monday, February 19, 2007

1. Political prisoner Ahmad Batebi has been transferred to a hospital, and his doctor has announced that he is not in a condition where he can endure further incarceration. It looks like this news of his condition is spreading pretty quickly across the Persian language websites; I hope the publicity helps his situation.

2. According to a story published in Friday's New York Times Weekend Arts section about a new exhibition at the Asia Society, "Flaunting Dominion in Ancient Iran", a number of objects, which had been in French museums for generations (read: stolen by colonialists eons ago), were held up at customs for reasons having to do with the current sanctions on Iran and despite having permits.

According to the terms of the US embargo on Iran, no art objects of Iranian origin may enter the U.S. without permit, no matter how long they have been outside of Iran.

As my friend and erstwhile blogger Sima pointed out when we were chatting earlier, this may be a blessing in disguise. Maybe if the artworks made it here they will try to confiscate it and sell it off, you know the way they are planning to do with Iranian artifacts in possession of University of Chicago.

3. I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard decent reviews from a few people, so I will cautiously recommend this BBC documentary on Tehran. It supposedly shows many different sides of Tehran, instead of reflecting the hackneyed polarities usually beamed in for Western audiences.